At a time when Americans are relying on internet access more than ever, Comcast Xfinity is rolling out data caps across its market.
Comcast currently serves a 39-state region. While data caps were already in effect in much of its market, the company is now bringing them to the remaining states, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. The specific states are Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia.
The company will cap users at 1.2 TB of monthly data usage beginning January 2021, although the company will offer a couple of months of grace period. Beginning in April, however, Comcast Xfinity customers will be charged $10 per 50 GB over the cap, although the company says overages will be capped at $100 per month. To make matters even worse, there is currently no provision to save up data from lighter months and roll it over to heavier months.
Needless to say, customers have been outraged at the announcement, pointing out that families and individuals are relying on their internet connection more than ever due to the pandemic. Individuals are working remotely, children are learning remotely, and families are relying on videoconferencing for socializing, worship and entertainment. As a result, Comcast’s announcement is being labeled an example of “unlimited greed.”
Rather than rethinking their strategy, Comcast is hitting back, pointing out that the data caps won’t impact 95% of users.
Hi Sean. About 95 percent of our customers use less than 1.2TB and are not impacted by this plan – even with the spike in usage as customers are educating and working from home during COVID-19. (1/2)
— Comcast (@comcast) November 23, 2020
Some are already pointing to Comcast’s announcement as the latest example of why critics say internet providers should be regulated like utilities. While internet access may have been a luxury at one time, it has now become an important lifeline for the majority of Americans.